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Fuel additives: Do They Work?

Posted by on 10/10/2013 to Diesel / Truck / Fleet
Do fuel additives work and if so and with so many choices available today, is there one that works the best? The short answer is it depends. Most fuel additives don't do much, according to experts.

While the best bets for improving vehicle mileage, and performance, is to drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle and improve driving habits, there are many fuel additives on the market touting impressive results. It's buyer beware. Anybody can create a slick marketing campaign with bogus testimonials. It can work like a placebo effect, though, with drivers paying more attention to fuel-saving driving techniques to justify the cost of the additive. That extra motivation works to save on gas mileage rather than the additive. Experts say driving more efficiently can result in 25 to 30 percent savings on fuel alone.

A lot of hype is flung around about miracle fuel additives and products. While anything that sounds too good to be true probably is, fuel additives that actually work to increase gas mileage fall in the realm of fuel injection cleaners. Look at the fuel injectors to see if they are gummed up or not working. Fuel injection cleaners are additives that clean up engines, allowing them to work at factory peak operation. That can result in better fuel burning and performance.

What is the best fuel additive? The bottom line is using fuel injection cleaners on a long-term basis, perhaps once a month, takes care of engines long-term. BG 44K has a good industry reputation. Sea Foam cleans well, and can bring about better mileage, some say. Marvel Mystery Oil, Lucas Oil Products, Chevron Techron, Gumout Regane, each have adherents. Any of these fuel additives can help. It's simply a matter of how dirty the engine injectors are and if the additive price is worth it. Fuel injector cleaning additives tend to be inexpensive compared to vehicle parts, so many people use them.

Fuel additives are only a small part of the total vehicle maintenance program. The best way to optimize your vehicle's performance is to watch your speed, keep your car tuned up regularly and keep an eye on your tire pressure.

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